As two neighboring nations, Indonesia and Malaysia shared many similiarities in uncountable aspects. Historically, culturally and religiously speaking, we also connected to each other. Let’s just take one simple example, the language. The Malay and Indonesian are very, very related. Theoritically, being tightly related and connected like this should make the two nations stand as buddies, however, the fact is that the relationship has been experiencing many ups and downs. While in art subject we still found some problems to solve, the connection between artists or among the art lovers have been showing strong resistance to those problems. While many of Indonesian art works like movies, singers, bands or TV programs received good response in the Malaysian market, throughout generations there have been many artists from Malaysia receive warm welcome in Indonesia and become popular superstars in here. In the music industry, we can mention some names such as the maestro P.Ramlee, Siti Nurhaliza, Search and Sheila Majid just to mention a few. In the modern day you can add Zee Avi in, but there’s another name that deserves huge recognition based on the friendly personality and the gifts she possessed inside. We are talking about the lovely lady named Raja Putri Atilia bt Raja Haron, but she’d like you to call her in more simple way, Atilia. That’s who she’s better known as. She officially launched her latest album “Indah” in Jakarta last night, taking place at Aksara, Kemang. This album’s being marketed by the top company in the independent music industry, DeMajors.
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As a singer, Atilia has a beautifully soft, tender and smooth voice. But singing is not the only thing she’s capable to do, because she can also write good songs. The lyrics mostly talk about universal themes of life, that includes love as one of the most substantial things found in our daily life, then her music is easy to chew, very melodic and soulfully modern. Just in case you wonder where she got all these from, notice that Atilia is the daughter of Salamiah Hassan, a Malaysian singer/songwriter who has been famous since the 70’s. Atilia rose to fame in Malaysia right from the first album “Sangkar”, released about 6 years ago. This album was produced by the legendary Roslan Aziz and co-produced by Jason Voo and Mukhlis Nor and spent 10 years in the making. But it’s all worth waiting for. Eventhough she already started from a young age and got her first break when she was 12 years old by becoming the lead singer for regional Coca Cola commercial, representing the South East Asia in Liverpool, Atilia finally found the momentum after this debut album released.
About three years later she released the second album entitled “Indah”. If in the first album she covered Tompi’s hit “Selalu Denganmu”, in this latest one she collaborated with Maliq & D’Essentials in singing “Harus Bagaimana” and SORE in “Silly Little Thing.” From what we heard in both albums, Atilia managed to bring her music to a new height by widening her musical horizon. Beautiful ballads, some light bossa all the way to the groovy side, all packed nicely in “Indah.” Bringing pop jazz on the plate should make her works easy to love by wider audience, especially in the current Indonesian music scene where this style gains a lot of fans mostly among the youngsters.
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Atilia at the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2013
But what does she has in her mind when she decided to launch her album in the Indonesian market? She told us everything about it. “I’ve been a huge fan of the Indonesian music since I was a little girl. My movie heros were Rano Karno and Benjamin S. I watched a lot of Indonesian movies and listened to a lot of Indonesian music. I grew up listening to Emilia Contessa, Betharia Sonata, Rien Djamain and always had a lot of respect for them. Vina Panduwinata.. Margie Segers… for me, if I make it here in the land of great jazz legends, then I would personally have achieved something amazing in my life.”
[flickr id=”8544958302″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”left”] Speaking of the characteristic of Indonesian music listeners, she also has her own opinion. “They (the Indonesian music fans) listen. They wait until the last note of the song is done and then clap. They sing along too. They are very appreciative, very ‘interested’ and very supportive.” That’s the scene we also captured last night when she had her launching album event with live performance. Was she happy with the result? “I didn’t even drink a single drop of water last night throughout 10 songs because I was too involved with my listerners. I was hypnotized.” she said with a happy smile. As a person, Atilia has a very friendly, honest and cheerful and down to earth [flickr id=”8543943759″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] personality. That should help her to establish herself in Indonesia and also internationally. Specifically about the Indonesian release, she feels the close connection to Indonesia as one of the main reason. “Nothing but great things here. It’s time for our music gates to top. Then again, Malaysia and Indonesia speak the same music language. I want to learn more from you guys and I also want you guys to hear more from us.”
Her launching album event last night was celebrated grand by having two opening/supporting acts: the family band We Love ABC which consist of Ricky Surya Virgana (the bassist of White Shoes and the Couples Company) and his two children, Sisi and Sachi, the rockabilly-swing connection in Indie music scene brought by Leonardo & His Impeccable Six featured Ade Paloh of SORE who also collaborated with her on “Silly Little Things” in this event. Other than this song, she sang the combination of songs from both of her albums such as “Sangkar” and “Ranjau” and the classic John Lennon’s piece, “Imagine.”
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Joining her on stage was her strong team including Sudin on drums, Fly on bass, Joel Voo on guitar, Tok Khon who also acts as her music director on keyboard and the fantastic soulful singer Mira as the backup singer. This team gave a tremendous work several days ago at the Java Jazz Festival 2013 (read the report here: http://jazzuality.com/java-jazz-festival-2013-2/jakarta-international-djarum-super-mild-java-jazz-festival-2013-day-1-part-1/), now they repeated the harmonious teamwork again in this launching event.
“I feel happy as if I’m having my birthday”, said Atilia during the show. We feel happy too that she’s now here inside our music scene. While telling us that she’s planning to focus in building her career here in Indonesia, she also stated her readiness. “Having a great feeling after last night, I want to let you know that I’m ready for Indonesia, and Indonesia is ready for me too!” The album “Indah” is available at our online store (click here to buy: http://store.jazzuality.com/products/cd/atilia-indah/), so if you missed her show last night, you can always visit the link and buy from us.
[flickr id=”8543862005″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”left”] In the end, it was a very successful album launching. The crowds filled every available space inside the Aksara Store, and the album was sold fast to the attending audience, some even came to ask Atilia for her autograph. What’s also good is that the album is distributed in Indonesia by DeMajors, the top label in the Indie Scene who Atilia takes as a very strong supporter to her music.
We know Atilia as a very talented lady with many gifts from Above, we take her as one of our dearest friends, but what we think is actually bigger than these. We think that Indonesia and Malaysia should live together in harmony, we have to settle all the differences and problems once and for all, start thinking that we both share a lot of similiarities and that we are all brothers and sisters sharing many historical and cultural values. Perhaps, and hopefully, the artists living in both sides could reunite these two countries, establishing a better future towards each other. Atilia can be one of the most important ambassador for this. Let’s give her a warm welcome, get to know her, her voice and her works and support her. Don’t forget to give yourself a treat by buying her album. Ear-catchy tunes, beautiful voice, simple but meaningful lyrics, pop jazz in modern suits, all is there to catch in Indah. We love it, you will love it too.
Buy ATILIA – Indah album here: http://store.jazzuality.com/products/cd/atilia-indah/
See more pictures:
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